All things must end.
It was bound to happen. There was always an expiration date on the INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US comic that we knew was coming. Still, it’s SO hard for me to say goodbye after having the amazing fortune to be a part of the Injustice creative family across two years and forty issues.
What could easily have been a forgettable mini-series based off of a video game ended up a fully realized world that has proudly stood the test of time—to the tune of FIVE YEARS worth of stories. That’s huge, considering many mainstream books don’t even make it that far. I wish I could take all the credit, but the majority of Injustice’s success is owed to my predecessor, Tom Taylor. Taylor breathed life into a compelling premise, adding tons of genuine heart, full-throttle action and his own unique sense of humor. He did such an amazing job setting up the world that it made it EASY for me to take the baton and run with it. This book is a testament to Tom and his love for Superman and the entire DC Universe. That’s right, I said LOVE for Superman. It takes loving insight to take the most forthright and iconic hero (of all time) down such a dark path and have it resonate with fans.
Like many of you, I was a fan of the Injustice comic before DC asked me to take over the series in year three. Now I’ve come to the end of my journey and I feel the awesome sense of propriety that comes with living with beloved characters over time. In a weird way I feel like a proud parent whose kids are leaving the nest.
I’m going to miss them.
Our heroes had a rough five years. When you think about it, they REALLY got a raw deal. A world where Superman had EVERYTHING taken from him is not a good place to be. Bruce, Dick, Barbara, Alfred, Ollie, Dinah and SO MANY others had to deal with the ultimate nightmare scenario—Superman as a BIG BAD with a passionate cause that rallied many of the troops. Through it all, Batman stood against his tyranny and never wavered. Mistakes were made and lives were lost, but Bruce NEVER gave up because there are some lines that should never be crossed. That line in the sand is what I think is the simple bit of genius at the core of the Injustice story: Heroes don’t kill.
Folks on the Regime side didn’t have it much better. Diana, Hal, Barry, Billy, Damian and Vic chose to stand with Clark for what they believed to be honorable reasons. It didn’t quite work out the way it was supposed to and I feel bad for those guys—especially Barry and Hal. Emperor Superman isn’t what they signed up for.
And then there’s Harley.
Sometimes villain. Sometimes hero. Always interesting. I’m going to miss her unpredictable nature and her oddly charming way of looking at the world and saying the wrong thing at the right time. She was a joy to write. They all were.
Given our ticking clock, I tried to pack as much story as I could in the time we had. I did my best to focus on as many characters as possible so we could see how Superman’s darkness affected THEIR lives. It was sometimes daunting, but I felt I had to try. And honestly… we could’ve gone another five years and still not covered everyone. THAT’S how rich the DC Universe is.
As I sat down to write this, my goal was to talk about my favorite moments during my Injustice run. But I had a really hard time narrowing it down. I’m hugely proud of the work that we did on the book, and it almost feels like a disservice to pick a few moments to call my “favorite.” It’s kind of like picking a favorite child. That said, the Bizarro/Trickster and Harley/Shazam pairings were the MOST FUN to write… Wonder Woman breaking Superman’s arm in Year Four was my favorite fight… and I’m most proud of the death of Alfred storyline. I’m going to miss you, Al.
Finally, I want to say thanks to all of my collaborators on the series. The artists, colorists and editorial team did their best to make me look good. There are too many to name, but I have to mention Bruno Redondo, Mike Miller, Juan Albarran, Tom Denerick, Rex Lokus and my editor Jim Chadwick. They were here before me and brought this world to life. Thanks for letting me take the ride with you guys.
It’s weird to say farewell to something that’s been a part of your life for so long. I’m moving on to new creative challenges and opportunities and won’t be taking the ride with the Jim and the gang as it continues in INJUSTICE: GROUND ZERO. The new series kicks off in October and is in great hands with the talented writer Chris Sebela. As a fan of Injustice, I can’t wait to see what he does with the heroes and villains I had the honor of fostering for two years. Knock ‘em dead, Chris!
INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US - YEAR FIVE Chapter 40, the final chapter of the Injustice series, is now available for digital download.